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Hello again, it would have been nice if I told you my dog’s name! Her name is Sugarplum. The shelter I adopted her from named her “Plum” and one of the workers there called her “Sugarplum” and I kinda liked that, because they named her Plum, and Sugar is a common name for a Maltese or other white dog, and also sugarplums are associated with Christmas, and I adopted her on 12/17/19, the day before my birthday and a week before Christmas. I’ve included some before and after pics of her after I cleaned her up; she was a matted mess. I know in the before pic she looks dirty but in person, she looked and felt clean, and they had to have given her a bath before spaying her, which was done on 12/10. Anyhow, all of the groomers in town were booked for the holidays, so I did the best I could to get all of the matts out. I did, and was also able to get rid of most of that rust colored discoloration. She looks like a totally different dog in the after pic. So now I’ll just get her professionally groomed just before Valentine’s Day, which is about 6 weeks from now. I think I’m going to keep her short all over but let her ears grow long, like the dog Mimi (Mimi and Coco, if anyone is familiar)
 

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Welcome to SM! Sugarplum is precious. "You did good!" as they say here in TX.
I am happy she is w/you, for both of you. I hope you will continue to post pictures so that we can enjoy her transformation. There is a lot of info here on SM & we are like a family.
With good food & love it is amazing what can happen.
May God grant her a beautiful future in your loving care.
 

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Welcome, and thank you for taking this baby out of a horrible situation. It sounds like you are doing a great job with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Awww thanks to both of you. Yes I will definitely be posting more pics; the next ones will probably be a before and after of her first professional grooming, (Every girl deserves to be pampered at least once in her life, doesn’t she?) as well as her progress. She climbs stairs with no problem now and she knows her name. I may take her to obedience classes or perhaps individual training. There is a dog obedience school that also offers one on one training, they even come to your home if you live within a certain radius of their location, but I think we can come to them. If I were to enroll her in a class I’m not sure which type I should enroll her in (puppy kindergarten or puppy elementary or perhaps middle school?) because of her abnormal previous life. She’s an adult dog who has never experienced things which most puppies have. She doesn’t even know what toys are or what they’re for. So sad.
 

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You did a wonderful job grooming her yourself. I love how you rescued her and her now having a wonderful home with all the love and attention she wants and deserves. I LOVE happy endings! Welcome to SM
 

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Thank you. There needs to be a caption under the after pic that says “I live out in the world now and I can see it too!”
 

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IF you do a course w/her, just quiz them to find out if they are "positive reinforcement" guided before you sign her up---her life has been hard enough already! Take it slowly w/her---she is just so endearing!
What a beautiful story of a "happy ending."
 

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What a gem you got! Thank you for rescuing! I adopted my girl too :wub:

That is wonderful that you want to do a training class. Most clubs have a "beginner" class for dogs and puppies over 5 mos. who have no previous training or who need a refresher. I agree with Sandi, being a positive reinforcement trainer myself, to look for a class with someone who uses these methods only :thumbsup:
 

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Thank you. There needs to be a caption under the after pic that says “I live out in the world now and I can see it too!”
:wub::wub: I love this!
Congratulations to you both. Wishing you may years of snuggles and puppy kisses.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Fach. Sandi and Zooey’s mom, thank you for that suggestion about the positive reinforcement. Yes, they do that. I just reviewed their website and they do positive reinforcement and reward based training. It also has a 4.9 star rating out of 5 stars with 51 reviews. I think I will probably start off with a couple of individual sessions. This way I can talk to the trainer 1:1 about her issues and initial goals, which would be socializing her with people, pad training her, and getting her to do some basic commands. This way she may not feel so overwhelmed with so many people around. She’s well socialized with other dogs as she spent her whole life with them, and my cat and her are also fine; it’s people she’s afraid of. I live alone, and I have teenaged twins who are here some of the time, and I’m dating a guy who I see occasionally. These are the only people she has seen since I’ve had her. (I did have a few family members over for a short while on Christmas Day, and she saw them very briefly) When I was interacting with Sugarplum at the shelter, I had her on a leash, and she walked up to another small dog that other people were considering adopting, but she runs from people, still oftentimes from me. This makes pad training difficult because I can often tell when she has to go, and I have to chase her to put her in her indoor dog pen. But when I pick her up and put her on my lap, she stays there and she’s very content. Here’s a pic of that during the first week I had her.
 

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Thank you for giving Sugarplum a life.
She is absolutely adorable :tender:
She's most likely fearful of everyone, who knows what she went through
She is going to be such a joy to you, I believe God lead you to her.
I will be watching for a update on her, she has touched my heart
 

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Thank you Matilda’s mommy, I believe God led me to her also. As I mentioned in my other introduction post, I couldn’t afford a new puppy, so I decided to adopt. And I can tell she will be a really good dog when she is better socialized and pad trained. I suppose one positive thing about a puppy mill dog vs. a new puppy is that the puppy mill dog isn’t curious and doesn’t cause mischief or chew things. She was meant for me. 💕
 

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Thank you SO much for adopting. She will reward you a thousand fold for giving her a safe loving place to land and becoming her family. I do Maltese rescue and we've had dogs come into us from every type of condition. It takes a while as they grow to trust us and baby steps are good. Just make sure that people who come to see her do get all riled up and say "Oh look at this puppy!! Oh come here. What a cute....yada yada." It scares them. Calm and almost ignoring her until she checks them out and feels comfortable. When I bring in new dogs I use the ex pen or Iris pen at first. I equate it to a child being brought into FAOSchwarz...it's overwhelming esp if they came from a mill or a shelter or an abusive home. They have enough room in the pen, they learn NLIF (nothing in life is free) good behavior will make good things happen and they find out when they learn where to pee that they earn more freedom. I let them out after they've gone on the pad...I want to set them up for success not failure. Can't wait to see Sugarplum grow up. Love her name:wub:
 

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Thanks snowbody, she is getting better every day. She will be a GREAT dog once she is pad trained and better socialized. She always stays on my lap for a long time, and that is when I have let others try to pet her. A couple of times she was nervous, but she didn’t try to get away or become aggressive. As a matter of fact I have never seen her get aggressive at all, despite what she’s been through, even when she’s put up a fight when I tried to get the matts out of her and clean her ears, but she was extremely squirmy. That’s the nice thing about the Maltese, I hear they are a very gentle breed that usually likes most people and most other animals.
 

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She might surprise you after she settles in! When I first adopted Zooey, she didn't play with toys at all. I had to ship her off to my mom's house while I was working for a week and lo and behold, she started playing with plush toys and retrieving! I couldn't believe it. It took 3 weeks for her to feel comfortable enough to show her true colors.
 

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Wow that’s encouraging. She’s doing really really well. I was wondering how I could introduce her to some toys. You know, the sweetest thing happened yesterday: she was sitting on my lap yesterday and I was playing some soft instrumental music (it was actually called separation anxiety dog music on YouTube) It did relax her and she nearly dozed off, then they changed the tune of the music and then there was the sound of birds chirping, and her head and ears perked up!
 
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